Highest-rated cable K-drama ‘Sky Castle’ picked up by Netflix

Netflix only selects the best Korean dramas to be made available on its streaming platform, so no one should ask why it recently added Sky Castle to its ever-growing library of Korean content. Some fans, however, might be surprised after knowing that the streaming giant finally picked up the series and scheduled it for release on April 28.

On April 25, Netflix Asia posted the trailer of Sky Castle on its official YouTube channel. The drama will be available in most Asian countries, but it remains to be seen whether it will also be released in the United States and the rest of the world on the said date.

Sky Castle is a critically acclaimed satirical drama that revolves around an exclusive and very well-to-do neighborhood composed of elite families that are overly desperate to send their children to the best university in Korea. The drama casts light on how these families go to extreme lengths to get their kids into the top university and mocks them by showing that even someone who graduated from a no name college can beat people having the same background as them.

The series is headlined by Yum Jung-ah, Lee Tae-ran, Yoon Se-ah, Oh Na-ra, and Kim Seo-hyung. These actors are relatively not the popular ones in the entertainment industry, which is probably why the drama premiered on November 23, 2018 with just a 1.7% nationwide audience share. However, they portrayed well their characters and delivered an impressive overall performance that matched the quality of the screenplay and direction—a combination that drew the attention of more viewers and helped the series achieved a record-breaking 23.8% nationwide rating during its finale on February 1, 2019. With a 14-fold increase in viewership, Sky Castle became the biggest sleeper hit of 2018.

But the most notable record achieved by the drama is it becoming the highest-rated Korean drama in cable TV of all time, in terms of peak ratings, unseating the previous record-holder (Reply 1988) from the top spot and beating the likes of Goblin and Mr. Sunshine. When it comes to average ratings, Sky Castle occupies the no. 3 spot, following the two previously mentioned dramas by a narrow margin.

Sky Castle has received nine nominations from the 55th Baeksang Arts Awards, including Best Drama, Screenwriter, Director, Actor, and Actress. The winners of the prestigious award ceremony will be announced on May 1.

Meanwhile, Netflix announced early this week that it will launch two Korean dramas that will premiere in May, starring Jung Hae-in, Han Ji-min, Park Bo-young, and Ahn Hyo-seop. Aside from obtaining distribution rights to more and more Korean dramas produced by local production companies and TV networks, Netflix is also stepping up its original Korean content. At least five original Netflix Korean dramas are expected to be released in 2019 and 2020.

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InternJang manages a team of writers to publish and promote content for Kdramapal every day. He began watching Korean dramas in 2014 and fell in love deeply with his all-time favorites Signal, Reply 1988, and Misaeng. His affinity for writing led him to start a blog and, later on, spearhead efforts to establish KDP as one of the most dependable sources of K-drama information online.